Watching ice is not like watching paint dry. And the world needs more ice watchers.
Whatever your high school science grade, volunteer to be a citizen scientist!
Contribute to global warming in a good way — by adding to scientific understanding about it.
Note the freeze and thaw dates of lakes and rivers in your community to help monitor the effects of climate change on the Canada you love. And recruit that neighbour, uncle or your Grandma who has scribbled with pencil on the calendar for years each time the water they watch freezes and breaks up.
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RinkWatch is led by geographers at Wilfrid Laurier University. They ask citizens to track skateable days on local outdoor rinks. I grew up in Alberta with outdoor rinks in every schoolyard. We played no matter what the weather! My hope is that other kids might also get in trouble for staying out late or not cleaning their room because they, too, were at the local rink.
Uniquely Canadian, this citizen science project has four fun programs — a great activity for families!
FrogWatch participants do more listening then watching. They listen for frog calls during mating season in the springtime.
PlantWatch record flowering times for certain species, helping track the effects of climate change.
WormWatch monitors earthworms (you know they're not native, right?) and soil health.
And don't forget one of the longest-running citizen scientist programs — just in time for the holidays! Join The National Audubon Society for its annual Christmas bird count (over 100 years old). Do this with family and friends over the holiday season instead of consuming stuff with birds on it.
Which watch will you sign up for and why?
Lindsay Coulter, a fellow Queen of Green